WataMote: Episode 1 – “Lament 1: Since I’m Not Popular, I’ll Change My Image a Bit”

WataMote ~No Matter How I Look At It, It’s You Guys Fault I’m Not Popular!~ is based on a manga series written and illustrated by Nico Tanigawa. The anime is produced by Silver Link, and it is directed by Shin Onuma. The series streams on Crunchyroll on Mondays.

Tomoko Kuroki is the main character of the series. At the beginning of the first episode, she is about to enter high school and thinks she’s going to be popular. Two months later, she hasn’t talked to anyone in her class.

Tomoko decides to try to do what she can to try to make herself cute in order to be popular. After she spends some time researching on the Internet, she tries to combine several ideas she found. However, when her younger brother comes home and sees her, he calls her ugly. Tomoko tries to get her brother to converse with her, so she can practice her conversation skills. After some arguing, he eventually relents; Tomoko wants him to do this with her until she gets a boyfriend.

The next day, she manages to stutter out some words to a teacher and at a convenience store, so she decides this is a victory and tries going to a couple of other locations. Unfortunately, her insecurities set in, and things don’t go so well.

While I watched the first episode, I noticed something interesting. In scenes where Tomoko is with other kids her age who aren’t related to her, most of them are drawn without any facial features. This was definitely deliberate, and I think it illustrates how little Tomoko pays attention to her peers.

While this series has an interesting premise, I really didn’t like the execution of the story in the first episode. By the end of the episode, I didn’t find Tomoko to be an endearing character; instead, I found her to be rather annoying. From what I understand, this series is based on the mangaka’s own issues concerning social interactions; unfortunately, the way the story is being executed at this point, it’s hard to feel any kind of empathy for Tomoko. It also doesn’t help that the series tries to incorporate comedic elements, but these elements really aren’t that funny. To me, the series ends up falling flat on its face.

I’m trying to cut this episode some slack, since it is a first episode and it needs to establish the premise, the characters, and the world that the characters inhabit. I will go ahead and watch the second episode, but I’m not holding my breath that I’ll be going beyond the next episode.

Additional posts about WataMote ~No Matter How I Look At It, It’s You Guys Fault I’m Not Popular!~:

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